Earlier this month, the world was shocked when photos of 61-year-old J.K. Simmons looking absolutely freaking shredded surfaced on the Instagram account of fitness guru and former U.S. Marine Aaron Williamson. At the time, most people just assumed Simmons was getting ripped for his role as Commissioner Gordon in Justice League. Though it was unclear as to why Commissioner Gordon — of all characters — needed to be ripped.
As it turns out, Simmons’ makeover has nothing to do with Justice League or any other upcoming role. As he reveals in a new interview, he had no plans to “mess with something that iconic,” referring to his character in the film. This is all just part of a fitness regimen that Simmons committed to for the purpose of staying in shape and living a healthy lifestyle.
“This is all coincidental,” Simmons, who’s doing press for the Blu-ray release of Kung Fu Panda 3, in which he voices the villain, Kai, told Business Insider. “After the second and final time that I got hugely fat in my life and when I lost that weight six or seven years ago, I pretty much decided that I was going to stay in decent shape for the rest of my life.”
Referring to the first time he got “hugely fat,” he says that he first noticed how out of shape he was while working on HBO’s prison series Oz in 1997, in which he starred as the neo-Nazi Vern.
“I was not in good shape at all. I was overweight and soft and here I am playing the head of the Aryan Brotherhood in this maximum-security prison in the first-ever HBO original drama and I was watching the first season when it came out and I just thought, ‘Wow, I don’t believe this guy at all. I have to get my a– to the gym and be a believable hard-a–.'”
Cut to a decade later in 2009, when he caught himself slipping and his weight had ballooned up to 250 pounds. At that point, he decided enough was enough and started working with a trainer to fully commit to a healthy lifestyle. Good for him!
Oh, and apparently those photos were taken all the way back in April. Simmons also remarked that he’s apparently “huge” now, but we honestly don’t know if he’s joking or not.
(Via Business Insider)